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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Guests Enjoy French Wine Tasting

Charlie’s Weekly Wine-ings

I am not an economist, but I have been learning a lot about international exchange rates and measuring their impact on business at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast. As the British pound and Euro have declined in value, the number of European guests has also decreased. And, as the Canadian dollar has strengthened compared to the US dollar, our guests from Canada have increased.

So what does this have to do with wine? I have had the benefit of some very knowledgeable French-speaking guests from Quebec, Canada. Last week, Rick and Louise stayed with us for a few days and Rick shared his considerable knowledge and two very nice French wines. I am a neophyte when it comes to French wine. I have tasted many and am generally familiar with the major areas like Burgundy and Bordeaux. I even know that a red burgundy is typically Pinot Noir and a white burgundy will most likely be a Chardonnay. I also know that Bordeaux can be any combination of the six grapes, the “permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot Malbec and Carmenere.”  But beyond that, I am often at a loss to even read the label on a French bottle due to may lack of understanding of French and the intricacies of the French wine rating system. In California, the bottle usually clearly identifies the specific grape as well where it was grown and bottled. An evening with Rick has advanced my knowledge and appreciation for French wines.

Rick graciously shared two excellent 2005 Bordeaux with me and our other guests. We started with a Chateau Les Trois Croix that is a Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend.  Thankfully, the back label was in both French and English, but Rick added the unwritten details about where the winery was located and a bit of the history of the Bordeaux region. The second wine was a Chateau Du Courlat and also a 2005 and a Merlot blend.  As Rick enlightened us, both wines are from the Saint Emilion sub region of Bordeaux.

We liked both wines, but they were very different even thought they were basically the same grape and were grown very near each other. The first was not as smooth as the second and Rick felt it should be aged and will drink differently in a few years. That is the beauty of wine, it can give you a wide varity of expereinces, now and for years to come. Thanks to my Frech Canadian guests for a great personalized French wine tasting in our Inn. 

Happy wine-ing

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper’s Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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